For decades, an entire century, really, the Big Nine/Ten and the Pac8/10 combatted the Eastern and Southern bias with their exclusivity. The Rose Bowl was their beacon and bragging right. They viewed themselves as superior, athletically and academically, and the Rose Bowl was the symbol of that.
And they resisted the winds of change as much as they could. They full-on flipped The Alliance the bird. They only acquiesced (with stipulations) to the BCS when faced with the reality that the two conferences would be left behind in money and prestige.
But the moment enough conferences agreed to send 1 vs 2 to a National Championship game that superceded Conference Champions' historical bowl destinations, despite its insistence to the contrary, the Rose Bowl's status plummeted from the elite game in the entire sport to just one of a half dozen high-dollar consolation prizes.
That the Rose Bowl and its two conferences pressed the issue, appealing to a bygone era's now overinflated elitism and relevance, by insisting that unless the Rose Bowl is contractually obligated to be a feeder bowl, the two conferences be represented in the game even when one or both (snicker) of their champions have gotten a better offer, cheapened it further.
And then, if that wasn't enough, the Pac's recent fall in fan and network interest and competitiveness (most frequently pitting its champion against the Big Ten's 2nd or 3rd place finisher, and then showing to be level or worse with the Big Tens' also-rans) has made the game even less relevant, culminating in this past season's lowest viewership of it in televised history.
The Big Ten has clearly abandoned any pretense of tradition and pageantry of the event, by poaching the schools with the lions' share of its Pac appearances, so the only schools, grasping at the yesteryear's straws of relevance, that even care any more, are the leftovers of a nationally non-competitive Pac, pretending that a mere appearance in the game means what it once did, though no more recently than 30 years ago (wow, the haves/havenots machinations started a long time ago!).
The Pac, as we've known it for a century, will indeed die (its remaining time in retrospect from this point may be tallied in months rather than years), and with it will die any glitz and glamor the Rose Bowl once had. It will officially become just one of the many feeder-venues in the coming tournament. From a perspective of history, that makes me a bit sad. Given what the Pac has become, however, it makes me quite pleased.